Hailing from Breda, Netherlands, Reinier de Ridder, (aka “The Dutch Knight”), is at the top of his game as the reigning ONE Championship king of not just the middleweight, but also the light heavyweight division.
Born on September 7th, 1990, de Ridder began training in Judo at the age of 5, before honing his grappling technique through the art of BJJ.
The now 30 year-old is a long-time combatant, having competed in several European grappling tournaments, before making the leap into MMA in 2013 at the age of 22.
Credited as one of the best grapplers in the sport, de Ridder isn’t afraid to trade blows in stand-up either, demonstrating time and again his expertise as a multi-talented athlete.
Having twice overthrown the former ‘king’ of ONE Championship (Aung La), the Dutchman is unwaveringly on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats of the sport.
So without further ado, let’s roll out the zero-loss, ‘combat chess game’ phenomenon that is “The Dutch Knight” Reinier de Ridder, and his Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Michaelis Efstratiou – Superior FC 14 (May 21, 2016)
In his third MMA career fight, the now 25 year-old de Ridder travelled to North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, to face Greek fighter, Michaelis Efstratiou.
In round 1, de Ridder rocked Efstratiou with a right hook. Although he missed the second attempt, de Ridder swiftly dodged a counter right hand attempt by his opponent.
After absorbing a left leg kick, de Ridder then scored with a left hand to Efstratiou’s chin, before following-up with a jab-cross combination forcing his opponent against the cage.
Looking to end the fight in a blaze of glory, de Ridder then tagged Efstratiou with a right hand, then countered with a double leg takedown.
“The Dutch Knight” then transitioned into full mount position, proceeding to ground-and-pound before closing the door with an arm-triangle choke.
Efstratiou was forced to tap, ending the contest at 1:32 of round 1.
4. Vs. Fan Rong – ONE: Hero’s Ascent (Jan. 25, 2019)
This PPV marked the first fight for both fighters in the promotion, as The Dutch Knight defended his unbeaten 9-0 record against Chinese fighter, Fan “King Kong Warrior” Rong, who carried a 12-1 record.
De Ridder began round 1 landing a jab, but was taken aback by a thunderous Fan leg kick.
Not willing to let up, de Ridder absorbed another one of Fan’s leg strikes, shooting for a single-leg and scoring the takedown.
Although Fan managed to escape the side control, de Ridder locked on a terrifying d’arce choke, tightening it onto his side, and forcing his opponent to submit at 1:15 of round 1.
De Ridder was awarded the victory via d’arce choke submission.
3. Vs. Aung La N Sang – ONE: Inside the Matrix (Oct. 30, 2020)
It was only a year since his debut at the company, and Reinier de Ridder was thrust into the title picture against legend Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang who was carrying a 26-10 (1) record. Both athletes had everything to lose as Aung La defended his Middleweight title, and The Dutch Knight put his 12-0 unbeaten streak on the line.
Beginning round 1 with an attempted shoot takedown, de Ridder was tagged by Aung La’s uppercut, yet not even a lick of The Burmese Python’s power was enough to deter him.
The challenger attempted a takedown. Although Aung La seemed to have defended the shot, de Ridder’s judo experience prevailed, securing him the takedown.
With de Ridder mounting on his back, Aung La defended his submission attempts, even managing to regain his footing. The Dutch Knight, however, refused to let go, bringing him back to the canvas and finishing him off with a rear naked choke (RNC).
Aung La caved in to the choke hold, with the referee stepping in to call the contest at 3:26 of round 1.
With this win, de Ridder not only defended his undefeated streak and won the Middleweight Championship, but also broke Aung La’s 7-fight win streak.
Within 6 months, the two combatants would go at it again, with Aung La putting his Light Heavyweight championship on the line, but The Dutch Knight overthrew the former two-time champion, proving that his first conquest wasn’t a fluke.
2. Vs. Gilberto Galvão – ONE: Legendary Quest (Jun. 15, 2019)
In his first middleweight bout at ONE Championship, the 28 year-old’s second fight for the company was against a super-muscular 30-6-1, Brazilian veteran, Gilberto “Giba” Galvão. Though Galvão was on the verge of retirement, his experience served as a good test for the newcomer.
Beginning round 1, de Ridder shot for a single-leg, with Galvão succeeding in defending, but his stomach was exposed to two of de Ridder’s knee strikes.
Looking to try his luck again, de Ridder landed a roundhouse kick to his opponent’s body, before shooting for the single-leg. It didn’t take long for de Ridder to finally score his first takedown of the match.
Once de Ridder transitioned into side guard, he began to drop elbows and fists to the head. Galvão got back to his feet, but was met with a knee to the head and body whilst still in de Ridder’s clinch, yet was able to break away with a right hand.
Demonstrating his striking prowess, de Ridder landed several shots again to the head of Galvão, even going all out with a flying knee to the body.
Although he got tagged by a Galvão right hand, de Ridder just went in for the kill, landing a flurry of punches and kicks, followed by a clinch, leading to his second takedown of the fight.
Looking to close the curtain, de Ridder thrusted a knee to Galvão’s head and proceeded to ground-and-pound, but Galvão was saved by the bell.
In need of scoring points in round 2, Galvão attempted throwing wild hooks, but de Ridder was quick to evade.
After feigning a jab, de Ridder scored the third takedown, before putting his opponent down with 3 knees to the head.
The bout was stopped at 57 seconds of round 2, declaring The Dutch Knight the winner via knockout.
1. Vs. Kiamrian Abbasov – ONE: Full Circle (Feb. 25, 2022)
The newly-crowned Light Heavyweight champion, Reinier de Ridder’s first challenger, came in the form of Welterweight champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov, with the middleweight title on the line.
No less than ten seconds into round 1, Reinier de Ridder went straight for the takedown, landing on side control. Transitioning to full guard, de Ridder opened a cut above Abbasov’s eye.
Opting for a guillotine choke, the champion attacked the challenger’s head with knee strikes, but failed to secure the hold and ended up on his back while Abbasov proceeded to kick his legs.
The defending champion managed to get back up to land a left hand and a knee to the body to end round 1.
At the beginning of round 2, de Ridder went straight into the clinch, pressing Abbasov against the cage, eventually getting the takedown.
Not wishing to be lenient with his challenger, The Dutch Knight proceeded to land some serious bombshells, all the while on full mount, for three gruelling minutes.
Abbasov made several attempts to escape, but had no answers to de Ridder’s punishment, leaving a trail of his own blood across the canvas.
Abbasov may have escaped de Ridder’s dominant position, but he was far from safety as the Middleweight champion went straight for an arm triangle choke. When it looked like the match was set, Abbasov was saved by the bell, but only just…
The reigning Middleweight champion began round 3 repeating the same approach as in the previous round, pressing Abbasov against the cage.
Abbasov reversed the position, gaining control over de Ridder momentarily, before the champion’s judo prowess prevailed, scoring the single-leg takedown and landing on full mount.
Without hesitation, de Ridder finally secured the arm triangle choke, forcing Abbasov to submit at 57 seconds of round 3.
This was de Ridder’s most dominant performance to date. The Dutch Knight had succeeded in his first title defence and earned a Performance of the Night bonus, er…to boot!